|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three Marion County residents are charged with TennCare fraud for reselling prescription medications obtained through TennCare.
Thacker and Brown were arrested on charges that they fraudulently obtained prescriptions for the painkiller hydrocodone using TennCare for payment, with the intent of selling the drugs. Privett was charged with using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the drug phentermine, an appetite suppressant and stimulant, which she planned to resell.
“We have zero tolerance for people using TennCare to feed the market of illegal drug sales and use,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare – and those who buy them – should understand that this is a serious crime and will will pursue prosecution.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."